Postpartum Wrist Pain – 2 Painful Wrist Conditions That Don’t Not Always Require Surgery!

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Your body will go through significant change after you have given birth to a child. In the weeks and months after giving birth, some new mothers report suffering from pain in their wrist(s). It is important to recognize that this wrist pain, which can range from minor to severe, will not go away if ignored.

There are also women who experience wrist pain during pregnancy, which is aggravated after birth  when they frequently use their wrists to handle their little one(s).

Postpartum Wrist Pain

Why is my Wrist Hurting After Giving Birth?

It is not uncommon for new mothers to complain of sore thumbs and wrists. This is due to the additional strain placed on their hands due to lifting and holding their babies. When caring for a newborn, you may engage in repeated actions which when overdone lead to tendon inflammation.

What are the Different Kinds of Postpartum Wrist Pain?

There are two different kinds of postpartum wrist pain.

  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is the most common reason for pain in the wrist and side of the thumb after giving birth. In De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, the tendons and tendon sheath in your wrist near your thumb get inflamed. You will rarely experience numbness or pins and needles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is another common reason for pain in the wrists and hands after giving birth. With this condition, a nerve gets pinched through the wrist.

De Quervain’s Signs & Symptoms

Most people get De Quervain’s tenosynovitis because they overuse their thumb or wrist in a certain way. Any action that mimics how a chef carries his wok or how you might lift a kettle full of water would put strain on the thumb side of the wrist. Carrying a newborn also require that level of strain on the wrist.

Some common signs are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited movement
  • Snapping or catching

On the thumb-side of the outer wrist.

You can easily assess if you have De Quervain’s using the Finkelstein Test (as seen in the image below).

Carpal Tunnel Signs & Symptoms

  • Your thumbs and fingers feel numbing or burning sensation
  • Shock-like or tingling sensations
  • Hands or fingers are weak

Here is where Carpel Tunnel Syndrome differs from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: you often sense pins and needles and numbness in the hand and wrist for Carpal Tunnel. This numbness, tingling and pain is common during pregnancy and can last for a while after giving birth.

You can assess (see the image below) using Phalen’s Test. Most of the time, the pain goes away slowly as the swelling from pregnancy goes down. But if you still have carpal tunnel pain after the swelling goes down, you may need a wrist splint, unless you really want to go for a small surgery to relieve the pressure within the carpal tunnel.

how to treat carpal tunnel syndrome postpartum singapore

What are Some Ways to Treat Postpartum Wrist Pain?

These are some of the things you can try on your own:

  • Don’t do things over and over or in a way that hurts.
  • Try to keep your thumb next to your index finger tucked in.
  • Try different ways to carry your baby to avoid strain.
  • Massage the base of the thumb and wrist gently.
  • Ice packs for 20 minutes, two or three times a day.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Wrist guards, wrist splints.
  • Acupuncture with Soft-Tissue Release
  • Make changes to the Way you Lift your Newborn

If you are experiencing discomfort, changing how you lift your baby could be the most important thing you can do to prevent additional discomfort in the wrist tendons. If you cannot change how you lift your baby, you should seek medical attention. Try scooping up your baby by lifting from his bottom while keeping the palm of your hand facing up. This is a better option than picking up your child by the arms.

When you lift anything with your hands in “L” shape, which is a position that places the majority of the strain on your thumb and wrist, this shifts the pressure, which reduces the risk of straining the tendons.

postpartum wrist pain acupuncture

Why is it Better to Treat Postpartum Wrist Pain with Acupuncture and Soft Tissue Release?

If you are searching for viable TCM Postpartum Treatment for Wrist Pain, you are in the right place! At Soma Clinic, we use acupuncture and soft tissue release very effectively to take away the wrist pain.

Acupuncture and soft tissue release are two different treatment methods for postpartum wrist pain that can be more successful than other existing techniques. At our clinic, we release restrictions all the way up the arm, not just the area on the wrist that is painful.

It has been shown that acupuncture can be useful in lowering pain and speeding up the healing process. It is also quite effective at reducing swelling and inflammation, allowing your hand to have a greater range of motion while also reducing the discomfort it experiences.

Soft-tissue release alternated with acupuncture at our clinic for maximal effect within two sessions. This should be your top choice when looking for a holistic alternative to getting a corticosteroid injection in the wrist. It should also be much faster than repeated sessions of physical therapy.

What we Offer at Soma Clinic

At Soma Clinic, one of the things that we are most skilled at addressing is discomfort that occurs in the wrist after delivery. Wrist pain is typically brought on by excessive use of either or both wrists, most commonly due to breastfeeding. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, is a possible diagnosis for this condition.

Many patients who come to see us for wrist pain may also present with New Mother Syndrome, which will benefit from a Zen Out session. While acupuncture is effective for the wrist pain, Zen Out will release tension all the way up to the shoulders!

Many of our patients may have already seen a physiotherapist and that may help, but if the condition still remains, acupuncture may result in better outcomes. Because we focus on more than just the wrist, we achieve good outcomes here. For these patient, they notice considerable improvement even after just two sessions.

To Wrap Up

Pain in the wrist after delivery is a frequent symptom of postpartum hormone changes. This is more likely to happen to new mothers because they will have to repeatedly lift their newborn and put their wrists in uncomfortable positions to support the baby’s head. This typically occurs during nursing and is brought on by a sudden increase in the amount of tension placed on the tendons of the wrist.

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